Should I get a Covid-19 jab having suffered from clots?

Monday October 04 2021

By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

Doctor, last year I had blood clots which moved to my lungs. However,  I was treated and became better. Can I go for Azra Zeneca jab? Lilly Angino

Many Ugandans are wary of blood clots from Covid-19 vaccination. This means they avoid the jabs and end up contracting Covid-19 which actually causes clots 10 times more than the Astra Zeneca Covid-19 implicated vaccine. 

Normally, blood is in liquid form but it can form clots to help plug injured blood vessels, sealing them to stop bleeding and allow the injury to heal.

However, sometimes blood clots form in the blood vessels in the absence of an injury hence blocking blood flow. Sometimes, they get deposited in other parts of the body. 

Unlike where there is an injury requiring to plug a blood vessel, sometimes blood constituents, called platelets, may stick together forming clots. This usually happens in the calves but clots can move from here through the heart to the lungs where they may block blood flow with fatal results. Clots on the  brain will lead to strokes.

The obese, aged, smokers, those immobile, the pregnant, those on hormonal contraceptives (or steroids said to prevent or treat Covid-19, are some of the people at risk of forming blood clots.


The blood clots following the AstraZeneca vaccine are completely different from the usual blood clots. 

Here clots happen because of an abnormal immune response, directed at the platelets which become too active triggering blood clots in unusual places like the brain or the abdomen.

People with a history of blood clots therefore should go and get vaccinated because they are actually more at risk of Covid-19. 

History of blood clots does not mean risking blood clots with the vaccine.